In one word: Unrelenting
Cannonball Bingo Bingo: Book Club
I picked up this book as it was the September offering of my local library book club that was meeting in person for the first time in five-ever. This was a great book for a book club, in that opinions varied on its merits, and “based on a true story” historical fiction is ripe for conversation.
The story is based on a real coastal wildfire that took place in Maine in 1947. In the beginning, this book was giving me strong “Revolutionary Road” vibes. That book was about a miserable hetero couple in the 1950s. This book is about a miserable hetero couple in 1947. But “Revolutionary Road” was of a more highbrow type of literature, and this one is more is “Revolutionary Road” meets Nicholas Sparks. I shared that revelation with the book club which garnered much tittering. After further reflection, I threw in another element with “meets Misery,” because in the back half of the novel things get wild. And after even further reflection I threw in “meets Garth Brooks’ song ‘That Summer.'” Which is about forbidden love-making and “burning both ends of the night.” BURNING. LIKE A FIRE. Nailed it. Some of my finest work, really. The evolution of the combination earned a proclamation of “Ashlie. You know you’re twisted right?” from a fellow book club attendee, which from me warranted a “thank you!”
So yeah, I had a lot of thoughts and observations about this book but none of them were great. I think overall the book was well-ish written but the writer has a fondness for first-person and very choppy sentences. My biggest beef was that I don’t like when a female character is tortured and this poor woman had a lot thrown at her. If she would have been made to suffer one less trauma I might have gotten on board. Also, this definitely seems like one of those “and now I’m done” books wherein the author wrapped it up in a hurry, leaving the reader puzzled.
Finally, let’s talk book covers. The top picture was the copy I got from the library. Just one look at it and I was like “hoo boy, I am not the target audience.” Had I ended up with the red hardcover version, I would have been excited. I feel like I wish she had written the red book, but she wrote the blue one, and it just wasn’t for me.